Comfort food sure is so desired during social distancing. Too bad it’s incredibly easy to put on weight and slip into unhealthy habits when you can’t go to the gym or workout with your accountability partner. That’s why I’m working to create healthier alternatives for my favorite baked goods. These vegan healthy date caramel nut rolls are delicious and a much healthier option for an indulgent favorite!
Since I was a kid, cinnamon and caramel rolls have always been a favorite. They bring back fond memories of childhood with my sister and parents. As I got older and went through the issues of weight management and healthy lifestyle, I realized just how much sugar and bad fat is in them. While disappointing, I’m thankful that I learned so I can limit my intake of things like this. Making these dishes without butter or a cup of sugar is difficult, but can be done! Here’s a great example.
What you’ll love about these vegan healthy date caramel nut rolls?
- A favorite decadent breakfast treat is now vegan.
- Healthier than the original. Though they may not taste the same as the original, they are quite good and so much less guilt.
- Meal prep friendly. Make them and keep for a week in the fridge for a delicious and decadent breakfast everyday.
How to make these date caramel nut rolls?
- Make the dough – in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, cinnamon, and yeast. Then add the maple syrup and slowly pour the warm water in.
- With a dough hook, mix together until a ball forms that is tacky but not sticky. It should stick to your hand but not rip away from the ball.
- Once it has formed, cover the bowl and allow it to rise for 60 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, mix together in a small saucepan the almond milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Heat the saucepan and allow the liquid to mix together. Then add the nuts and continue to cook for another minute and then remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 360ºF.
- After the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle on a floured surface or a piece of parchment paper.
- Pour the sauce over the rolled out dough and spread it to all corners.
- Roll the dough into a cylinder shape.
- Cut into even pieces (about 2″ thick). This will make about 10 rolls.
- Place into a greased pan. Bake for 22 minutes.
- While the rolls are baking, make the date caramel. Add the dates, almond milk, salt, and vanilla to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and top with date caramel. Serve warm!
- Remaining rolls can be covered and stored at room temperature for 2-3 days, or keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Vegan Date Caramel Nut Rolls
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (can blend with AP)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup warm water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Cinnamon Nut Filling
- ¾ cup chopped nuts
- ½ cup almond milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 18 pitted deglet noor dates or 15 pitted medjool dates
- ½ cup almond milk
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp salt
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and maple syrup.
- With a dough hook, mix together until it forms a ball. Add the water slowly so you don't over-water. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
- Continue to mix, you can also do this by hand but kneading by hand will take some time. The dough should be stretchy and you can see a minor 'window pane' in the dough.
- Once you've got the dough made, cover the bowl and place it in a warm area (window with sunlight).
- Allow the dough to rise for about 60 minutes.
- Once the dough is risen, remove it from the bowl and roll it into a rectangular shape.
Make the Cinnamon Nut Filling
- In a food processor, chop the nuts. If you don't have a food processor, use chopped nuts or chop with a knife.
- In a small saucepan, heat almond milk.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon. Whisk until it's well incorporated.
- Stir in the chopped nuts.
- Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- With the rectangle dough spread the nut sauce on and spread to cover all the corners.
- Roll it evenly from end to end into a cylinder.
- Cut into 10 pieces evenly. You can make more or less but 10 fits well in a pan.
- Grease a baking dish and line the baking dish with the cut rolls.
- Bake for 22 minutes.
Make the Date Caramel
- Blend until a smooth sauce is formed. Deglet noor dates may leave some small pieces behind, but this is okay.
- Once the rolls are done, remove them from the oven and spread the caramel over the top.
- Serve warm. Any leftovers can be covered and stored out at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for one week.
Did you try these sticky buns? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know what you thought in the comments below.